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Smartwatches present new distraction for drivers

There is no shortage of gizmos and gadgets that are used for both entertainment and productivity purposes. Smartphones and tablets have become particularly ubiquitous, and they allow people to have near-constant access to the internet. On the whole, these devices are valuable tools, but their use should be tempered with common sense. For instance, no one should try to operate any sort of mobile device while driving. This is extremely dangerous and against the law in most states.

Smartwatches are one of the latest additions to the gadget world. Depending on the model you choose, a smartwatch can come with any number of features, including the ability to check your email, count the number of steps you take in the day or even monitor your heart rate. But again, using the devices while driving is a hazardous endeavor, perhaps even more so than operating a smartphone.

The problem is that it can take both hands to get information from a smartwatch. And a UK safety group points out that while smartphones can be stowed away and ignored, a smartwatch is always active, often demanding the wearer's attention with lights, beeps, and vibrations.

In most states, laws regarding the use of mobile devices while driving are written in a manner such that smartwatches are considered no differently from smartphones. That is, it is illegal to operate them while behind the wheel. But as you likely know, the laws have not prevented drivers from texting and talking while on the road.

All too often, drivers who momentarily surrender the focus of their hands and eyes to mobile devices are responsible for causing very serious automobile accidents. And if you or a family member have been injured by a distracted driver, an experienced personal injury attorney could help you pursue appropriate compensation.

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